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  FOX News    Americas News HQ    News/Business.  
   Analysis of the day's news.  

    September 25, 2010
    6:00 - 7:00pm EDT  

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>> rick: hello, everybody. welcome to a brand-new hour of america's headquarters. i'm rick folbaum. glad you're with us. >> juliet: topping the news, good to see you by the way. the middle east peace talks face a major crisis this weekend as palestinian president abbas says israel's push to restart settlement construction in the west bank tomorrow could lead to further, quote, violence and conflict. >> rick: the first to respond to ground zero, why is it taking washington so long to pass a bill to cover their health problems? you won't believe some of the reasons that we're hearing. >> juliet: midwest deluge, part of minnesota and wisconsin facing some of the worst flooding in decades. rivers continuing to crest, thousands remaining homeless.
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>> rick: we begin with a red hot rhetoric over the gop's pledge to america announced this week. president obama taking shots at the plan, saying america's future hangs in the balance. republicans not keeping their powder dry, firing back. dueling addresses with the midterms now less than 40 days away. molly henneberg is live in washington with more on this. the president obama, he does not think very much about this new gop plan. what did he say about it? >> rick, that it includes some of the same economic policies that, quote, led to the economic crisis in the first place. house republicans say if they get control of congress this fall, they'll in part repeal the president's health care law, stop the stimulus spending, and extend the bush tax cuts for all americans. president obama says he, too, supports extending the bush tax cuts, but not for families who make over $250,000 because that would mean $700 billion would not be coming in in taxes which the president says the country
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cannot afford. here is more. >> for all their talk about reining in spending and getting our deficit under control, they want to borrow another $700 billion and use it to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires. on average, that's a tax cut of about $100,000 per millionaire. instead of cutting taxes for the wealthiest few, tax breaks we cannot afford, i've called for tax cuts for middle class families who saw their incomes shrink by 5% during the last lost decade. >> which the president also calls a quote, disasterous decade economically. rick? >> rick: that word, disasterous, it's a very popular word with both sides tossing it around. republicans say it's the president's plans for the economy that are disasterous. right? >> yes. they say president obama and democrats are not listening to the people and are running up the country's debt with so much spending. they say basic tenets of the gop's pledge to america are to create jobs and economic
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uncertainty and make america more competitive, cut wasteful washington spending and reduce the size of government, reform congress and restore trust in government. here is more on that. >> the new agenda embodies america's rejection of the notion that we can simply tax, borrow, and spend our way to prosperity. it offers a new way forward that hasn't been tried in washington, an approach focused on cutting spending, which is sadly a new idea for congress, accustomed to always accelerating it. >> mccarthy says the economic situation has gotten so bad, that one in six americans relies on the government for some kind of financial support. rick. >> rick: molly henneberg in washington breaking it down for us. thanks. >> juliet: we're going to continue this whole topic. the gop pledge to america getting criticism from an unlikely source. well, possibly. members of the tea party giving the cold shoulder to the plan. some say it's heavy on slogans, but light on substance. will their reaction matter on voting day this november?
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here for a fair and balanced debate, susan, former campaign manager for michael do cass kiss. good to see you. >> thank you. >> juliet: cal, you just saw the pledges, young gun say this is a plan that america needs. as we said not everybody agrees. we'll get to the tea party in a second. but it's not a contract, cal, it's a pledge. is it a workable plan? >> well, it's a workable plan depending what comes out of it. all policies are based on a foundation, a philosophy, a world view. it reads well, but we've been down this road before. the contract with america in 1994, all of it was implemented -- >> juliet: take a sip of water and we'll come back to you. >> thank you. i'm overcome by susan's presence. >> juliet: he'll be all right. what's the problem with the pledge, susan? >> well, i think cal is right.
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i mean, the pledge is mostly talk. it's words. when you get me and the tea party agreeing that you've got mostly slogans and no substance, you can talk about cutting spending, but how are you going to cut spending if you don't talk at all about medicare and social security? you can talk about deficit reduction, but you're giving $700 billion in tax cuts to people like cal and me. so i think what it is is a political document. i'll take the money. >> juliet: cal, are you all right? >> i am, thank you very much. look, i mean, for this president to talk about we can't afford tax cuts when he has ratcheted up the deficit and the debt to a projected $13 trillion is like lady gaga coming out for, you know, wholesomeness in american life. this is crazy. we all know what needs to be done. susan is right. medicare and social security need to be reformed. but when president bush 43 tried
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to do it, the democrats dem goged him, said old ladies would be starving in the street, people would be homeless. look, the reason people are cynical about this and i was born in washington. i've seen the politicians come and go. nancy pelosi said she was going to drain the swamp if democrats came back into power. she didn't drain the swamp. she built a hot tub. everybody in. we've seen all of this before. it isn't working. so i want to see what the meat is on the bones before i fully sign off on it. sounds good. let's see what goes beyond this. >> juliet: we want to get to the tea party. one tea partier said, quote, it's a mealy mouthed sock to the tea party movement that is ripe with platitudelittle on substance. it sounds overall like the tea party is not really behind it. skepticism is the word here. some say this is the republican's attempt -- susan, i think you mentioned this. a commercial. explain what you mean by that. >> yeah. it is. it's a political commercial. i think that the problem is that as a political commercial, i'm
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not sure it works. it's a collection of slogans and ideas and things that have been popular in the past with republicans. but you got a divided party on the republican side and if the goal of this pledge, and i think it was, was to unite the party, it isn't working. and i'm not at all clear that it's going to appeal to independent voters because it skips -- afghanistan isn't in there. what isn't in there far trump what is is. >> juliet: cal, november is not that far away. some of these tea partiers are saying it's a way -- republicans are trying to calm the tea partiers down and get them on board to get votes in november. >> maybe. what susan said what's not in there, what also is not in there is what is expected of us. john kennedy said, ask not what your country can do for you. ask what you can do for your country. this is going to require an awful lot of people have been riding the entitlement gravy train to get off before it derails. are they willing to do that? are you willing to take more responsibility for your own
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life? personal accountability, looking out for your own retirement, investing wisely, getting married before you have kids, staying off drugs, all of these things are about me, about the citizens of this country. that's what i want to hear. the republicans are saying they're going to have a conversation with the american people. is it going to be one way or two way? >> juliet: peggy noonan wrote a piece and cal, you were talking with our producers about this. you found she was on to something specifically when it came to women in this sort of cycle. explain. >> i'm very excited about the number of especially conservative women who are rising up through the ranks and taking the leadership and responsibility and control of increasing amounts of government. now in the '70s, the decade of the woman, the year of the woman, the feminists were in high dungen about how great this was, but i don't hear them cheering now that conservative women are rising up through the ranks. i think women, conservative women, republican women are bringing a new dynamic to the political debate and i'm very encouraged by it. there are a lot of good ones out there, a lot of very smart,
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intelligent, and competent conservative women and i applaud this and i think this could change the dynamic of a lot of the politics from the old boys network to the young girls. >> juliet: susan, you're a woman, what do you think? >> i'm a woman. i, like cal, thrilled to see women tossing their caps in as it were, doing well, but i still think the major issue is confidence. i would rather have all things be equal. i'm delighted to see more women at the top. but you need to be competent. we've got some women running, i'm not going to name names. >> juliet: no, go ahead. >> very competent -- nobody is going to say meg whitman. >> unlike all those competent men like charlie rangel and these others, these competent. it is about competence, you're right. >> juliet: cal, i hope we restored you're heal. are you all right? >> yes. >> juliet: good to see you,
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susan. >> thank you. >> rick: that was fun. a controversial bill providing health care for sick ground zero workers is coming up for another vote on the house floor next week. the battle over the measures setting off a huge shouting match the last time it hit the floor you might remember. caroline heat advisory with more from dc. >> the first time around, this bill caused more screaming and booing and controversy on the floor of the house than we've seen in years. and it's coming up again next week. the bill would allot 7 1/2 billion dollars to compensate residents and first responders with health problems allegedly stemming from breathing in fumes around world trade center after 9-11. thousands of firefighters, police officers and construction workers have sued over their exposure and later health problems. funding your health care seems simple enough, but democratic leaders brought it to the house floor in late july under a procedure requiring a super majority, meaning republicans couldn't add amendments and the bill died. that brought on the finger pointing and this. >> you could pass this bill if you wanted to.
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you are in control, you have the power. you have the responsibility. >> if republicans wrapping their arms around republicans. it is a shame! a shame. >> trying to smooth next week's vote, the democratic leadership released this statement. quote, we would also like to recognize the tireless work of the new york delegation in guiding this bill through the legislative process to benefit those who rose to the occasion on 9-11. this time the bill will need a simple majority vote. but there is still controversy. some critics call it a new entitlement program that would increase taxes on businesses. rick? >> rick: caroline shively, thanks. >> juliet: the obama administration is urging a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed on behalf of u.s. born cleric suspected al-qaeda member anwar al-awlaki. his father filed the case. he's demanding the government release classified information which the d. o.j. organizes would increase the risk to national security. the department of justice says,
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quote, the lawsuit asks for an american court to block the government from protecting its own citizens. if al-awlaki wishes to access our system, he should surrender. he has been linked to terrorists in yemen where he's believed to be in hiding. >> rick: our colleague eric shaun with an exclusive one on one with the iranian president, ahmadinejab. they sat down in a new york city hotel room just yesterday morning and they got into a tough exchange about a number of things, including iran's nuclear program. check it out. >> do you want to pursue a nuclear bomb? >> is there a law that tells me that i must swear to convince others? i have said on numerous occasions that we do not want an atomic bomb. >> why should we believe you? you are violating four u.n. resolutions. you've kicked out u.n. inspectors. why should the world believe anything that you say on this
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subject? >> we do not insist that you should believe us. we've never said that you should. you are free not to believe us. >> rick: i have watched this entire interview. you don't want to miss it. you can see it tomorrow morning on eric's show. his interview with the iranian president, eric shaun asking questions in a way that i don't think that ahmadinejab has been asked them before. >> juliet: what do you mean by that? >> rick: watch tomorrow morning at 11:00 o'clock. eric had the facts and he followed up. he didn't just ask the question and let ahmadinejab go off on a tangent. even though he tried to do that. eric had follow-ups and tried to pin him down in a way that i really -- and i've seen a lot of western journalists interview, i don't think anyone did it as well as he did tomorrow. >> juliet: good job. all right. now in the middle east peace talks, hillary clinton meeting with palestinian leader abbas,
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launching a last minute effort to save negotiations between the israelis and the palestinians. abbas says he's determined to continue, but israel must comply as well. >> israel must choose between peace and the continuation of settlements. >> juliet: there is 24 hours left before the crucial deadline expires. now more from jerusalem. >> hi. it really is down to the wire. secretary of state hillary clinton has been meeting with israeli and palestinian officials to try and reach some sort of an agreement over this settlement freeze, but for now, nothing has been agreed on. clinton met with israeli defense minister barak. they say they can not extend the freeze, which has been in place for ten months. u.s. officials have been urging israel to extend it. palestinians say they will drop out of the direct talks which only began earlier this month, if construction continues. today in the west bank, clashes
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took place between anti-settlement protesters and the israeli military. they're calling on the complete boycott of all settlement products. israeli military also arrested a photographer for not obeying the rules. the journalist said he was asked to step back and never given the chance to do it before being beaten by israeli soldiers. clinton is expected to meet with the syrian foreign minister to discuss restarting peace talks between israel and syria. >> juliet: thanks. >> rick: back home now, police in south florida say they have found the red mustang belonging to the bank teller who was kidnapped in one crazy police stand-off. it is not far from the bank of america branch that was robbed right near miami. the f.b.i. saying the robbers began their caper by first kidnapping the bank employee in that bank teller's house, strapping what looked to be a bomb to his chest and then forcing him into his car before using him to steal money from the bank. the teller brought out of the
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bank unharmed. no other employees or customers were held hostage in all of this. tests are still pending to determine if the bomb that they said that they had strapped to him was real. the three suspects and the money still at large. >> juliet: not good. cash strapped states are now reaching out to private companies for help in covering the cost of maintaining state parks. this means mother nature is getting corporate sponsorships. peter doocy is live on the plaza here in new york city with the latest on this. peter? >> coke and verizon and subaru are not normally names you would associate with mother nature, but these days even in the bad economy, those companies are stepping up to bail out those cash strapped state parks. right here in new york, nestle juicy juice spent $350,000 on seven playgrounds in state parks. in california, coke and stayner brothers markets came up with over a million. in georgia, verizon sponsored a boy scout project.
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in virginia, north face logo started being seen in hiking trails. >> it's important because we really believe -- we're trying to inspire the next generation to get outdoors and to become the next explorers and conservationists and we feel like right now if we don't get them while they're young, then it will become harder to get them outside as they grow up in front of the computer and spend 40 plus hours in front of the screen. >> so they hope to inspire the youth. but they're also going to be getting prime advertising because the people on those trails are the people they want in their stores. there are a lot of people in america's state parks. 40% of americans visited a state park in the last year. that adds up to 727 million visit has year. these corporate logos in parks will be seen by many people who will all be enjoying facilities maintained by their favorite cell phone or soda company.
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>> parks are fighting to keep open, to keep stocked, to keep restrooms clean. these programs with corporations with help to put icing on top of that. they're not going to pay the bills, the general bills, but they will help to keep visitor services going and improve programs that really affect people who show up and see the parks during the day. >> at this point, there are no plans to rename the parks after their corporate sponsors. just the stuff inside the parks. back to you. >> juliet: not yet at least. thanks very much for that. >> rick: you could take a hike on the juicy juice trail. >> juliet: i don't hike. >> rick: wouldn't that be nice? >> juliet: no. i like juicy juice. i don't like hiking. >> rick: all right. the skies may finally be clearing up in minnesota and wisconsin, but the fight against major flooding far from over there. we've got the very latest on this disaster. it's straight ahead. >> juliet: plus, let's check in with casey stegall live at san diego's fleet week. how are you doing? >> we're doing well out here. this story all about honoring
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the troops. this event all about honoring the troops. up next, we'll take you inside fleet week here in beautiful southern california. keep it right there, a live report headed your way next.
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>> juliet: a look at some other headlines we're following this hour. investigators are looking to see
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if a bomb threat that forced a pakinstani plane to land in sweden was a terrorism hoax. the passenger was taken into custody and then released. the next leader of britain's opposition labor party after run not guilty a tight contest against his older brother. the younger won pledges to restore faith in his party. and three astronauts back on earth after a six-month mission in space. the russian capsule touching down today. the landing postponed for a day after technical glitches prevented them from docking. >> rick: i love my little brother, but if he would have beat me in some kind of political contest -- >> juliet: you have to smack him up side the head. >> rick: folks in san diego paying tribute to our brave men and women in uniform. all part of fleet week, feature ing so much. casey stegall is live. hi, casey. >> we don't have sailors walking around times square like fleet week there in new york city, but
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would you believe this fleet week here in southern california is actually the largest one in the country and it's awfully fitting since the san diego area now has the largest military population in all of america. coast guards and the u.s. navy. this region has roughly 330,000 active duty military personnel and about 100,000 other uniformed personnel, including department of defense workers, dozens of special events planned for fleet week to honor those who have served and continue to serve our country. car races, navy ship tours meet and greets with sailors, some 20,000 people expected to turn out and that means big bucks for the struggling san diego economy. >> the dollars are captured in taxes, the taxes that hotel guests pay when they stay in a hotel, certainly captured in sales taxes from restaurants and purchases of souvenirs and other
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things like that. so tourism is when people come into your area, leave money, and then go somewhere else. so it is a tourism generator as well. >> kids come out to this event, they'll interact with military member, mostly from the navy. it's an opportunity to say thank you to them and also an opportunity for us in the navy military members to show some of our equipment, what we do and thank them for supporting us. >> would you believe it, that it's estimated about $10 million is going to be injected into the economy just because of fleet week? right back here behind they, a lot of military equipment, planes and helicopters and other vessels that are used in exercises. people have a cans to get up close and personal. we're going to show you a massive hover craft that the navy uses, pretty spectacular. back to you in new york. >> rick: casey stegall live in san diego.
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thanks. >> juliet: i always like it when it's fleet week in new york city. >> rick: why? >> juliet: many reasons. it feels patriotic. >> rick: it is. it's a fun time. >> juliet: lots of men walking around. moving right along. some serious news, rivers are spilling their banks in the northern midwest and communities under water right now. others bracing for the coming flood. a look at what they're up against straight ahead. >> rick: the poverty rate in the u.s. hitting a level unseen for at least 50 years, but statistics, they don't always tell the whole story. is the situation really as bad now as it was then? >> today millions of american families are caught in circumstances beyond their control. their children will be compelled to live lives of poverty unless the cycle is broken.
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>> rick: bottom of the hour,. >> juliet: time for the top of
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the news. >> rick: president abbas, the palestinian president, blasting israeli settlement construction saying there will be no middle east peace until the building stops in areas that palestinians would like to use for a future state. >> juliet: hugo chavez pulling out all the stops in an attempt to insure his supporters retape their hold over the legislature. he is now promising voters low interest credit cards and discounted appliances from washing machines to television sets. >> rick: isn't that nice? and tropical depression matthew is drenching central america. making landfall as a tropical storm yesterday in nicaragua. >> juliet: riverside communities in minnesota and wisconsin now bracing for major flooding, but for others, the devastating surge of water has already come. residents stunned by the shear volume of water that flowed into their towns. >> it took everybody by surprise. it always rains, but it's never gotten this high before. we've had a bit of flooding, but nothing like this. >> this is what i have left
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after 30 years. this is tough. i'm not sure what i'm going to do. >> juliet: the weather forecast over the next week largely calling for clear skies, raising hopes that hundreds of displaced homeowners could soon turn their attention to the clean-up. >> rick: one in seven americans are now below the poverty line, a higher number than back in 1960 when president lyndon johnson declared his war on poverty. but folks living below the poverty line these days enjoy a much higher standard of living. so analysts say the challenge now is to keep our current economic down turn from bringing 50 years of progress to a crashing halt. gary is a news contributor. one in seven below the poverty line. poverty today is very different from the poverty that our parents and our grandparents knew of. right? >> most definitely. thank modern technology, whether
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it's the microwave or the refrigerator, now recently the internet and e-mail. it's much different than it used to be. but i have to tell you, rick, the numbers that we're reading about are staggering and the amazing thing about it is that they're using the number of $22,000 a year for a family of four at the poverty level. i think that number should be higher. it's a very, very tough number and they've been throwing money at this for years. i'm not so sure that they've been getting it done. >> rick: we sort of comparing back in 1960 with the numbers today and just to give people a sense of how the standard of living has changed over the years, this is what a tv set used to cost if you were to sort of take the numbers back then and translate it into 2010 u.s. dollars. $1,800 for a television set. a refrigerator with a freezer on top would have run you about $1,500 back then, or the equivalent thereof.
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washering machines, 1100. as far as like air conditioning, only 12% of homes had air conditioning and the numbers today obviously a lot of people who would fall into those category -- the category of living below the poverty line, that $22,000 threshold for a family of four, a lot of people will have some of those amenities. but you say these numbers are staggering. what do you think is the right number for a family of four? where would you put it? >> i think it should be in the 30s, if you ask me, just going by the cost of living these days. look, you are right, what people were deprived of then compared to now, much, much different. it's a whole different scenario because of technology and just the improvement as we move forward. that's going to continue. but back object those numbers, when you read about 40 to 50 million people, that is a big, big number. >> rick: so where have we failed? what can we do differently?
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i know that the capitalist point of view is that the government needs to get out of the way of business owners and entrepreneurs and not get in everybody's way so that we can grow our industries and businesses and put more people to work with hopefully higher paying jobs. >> well, i think there is number one, a safety net is definitively a good thing, but i agree with that statement. there has been too much government intervention throughout the years. they've been throwing trillions of dollars for on a years at this and believe it or not, the same numbers. if there is anything government has failed at is the war on poverty. trillions of dollars out and we're basically at square one when it comes to the dollar amount and the amount of people. i think it starts at the home. i think it definitely starts at education and something better be done because if the economy doesn't get going, these numbers are only going to increase. >> rick: but capitalism also dictates that there are people, there needs to be people on those sort of lower rungs to do
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some of those lower paying jobs that really sort of keep things moving in this country. so what do we do, because there are unions out there that are trying to raise wages, even among those who are in those sort of jobs that we were just talking about. what is the answer? you talk about a safety net and then you talk about raising minimum wage and people don't -- a lot of people don't like that idea also. what do we do, gary? >> you know, it's a great question. i don't think we've been able to find that happy medium at this point in time. how do you argue the fact that you have all the mcdonald's out there, but all these people making certain wages that do not keep up with the necessity. i don't have the answer. but i will tell you, the best answer is education and people getting smart in their business and working harder and let businesses flourish. i still think this is a great country but something that has to be worked on.
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>> rick: gary is the president of cull ambomb and associates. it's a tough topic with these numbers released by the u.s. secretary sus bureau. we appreciate you coming to us about it. >> thank you. appreciate it. >> juliet: steve jobs unveiling next generation in ipod technology. so how do these guys stack up against the competition? "consumer reports" gives you the low down on these high-tech wonders just in time for the holiday shopping. >> rick: get started right now. >> juliet: it's september. >> rick: come on. get going.
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>> juliet: apple this week releasing its latest generation of ipod just in time for the holiday shopping season. the touch, the shuffle, nano, how do they stack up against other mp 3 players? >> rick: that's one of the topics in this latest issue of "consumer reports." our friend mike is a seenor electronics editor at "consumer reports" and is here with more. the ipod, this was my introduction to the apple
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product line years ago when the first one came out. >> the brick. >> rick: yeah, the big brick that i got hooked on. they've moved on, but you brought last year's model that -- to sort of compare to the new one. >> at least in one case that was the most dramatic difference, and that was the nano. the touch, as most people know, is the iphone without the phone in many cases. >> juliet: lift it up a little bit. >> you can see that. make sure the screen is bright. two of the biggest improvements on it is it has like the iphone 4, a very sharp screen called retina, four times sharper than last year's model and has two cameras, not one. it's the first time touch has a camera. a front facing camera for video chats and one in the back when you're shooting your friends and so forth. also it's got access to new features that itunes added,
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which is ping. >> rick: social networking. >> right, but it's really bent towards getting you to buy itunes products, like hey, have lady gaga blogging. i'd like you to try this new thing, you know. i follow her, but she hasn't followed me. i don't know why. >> rick: i'm so surprised to hear that. >> juliet: after today, you never know. >> keep an eye out. >> rick: that's cool. how much is that? >> this is three prices. for 8 gigabyte, $230. and you can double that. you'll probably want the higher capacity one, 16 giga bite -- 64. right. >> rick: if you have an iphone, you don't need that? >> no. but if you don't have an iphone but want a lot of the features, this is great. this the ultimate player. this is movies. they have a new feature now, new game center. you can play people on the network now. >> juliet: it's large enough that it's not going to get lost
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in your purse, ladies, like the next one possibly could. the ipod nano. >> yes. it's the most radically changed. this is last year's ipod nano. >> rick: hold them side by side. >> the new one is the orange one. and it's radically reduced. it's a lot smaller and they also cut back a lot of the features. but it's still a fun player. new is the touch screen. it's still on there. it doesn't play videos anymore, but you can look at photos. of course, the screen is a little small, so i don't know -- >> juliet: it's like the size of a silver dollar, really. >> here is a christmas village. you can zoom in by tapping in, but it's not -- it's great for different things. again, a lot of people may be disappointed because last year's model had a camera, could shoot videos. >> juliet: people like that
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little one, like your next one. the ipod shuffle. this is really small. compare the two. >> right. this is almost like a shuffle deluxe. this is a 49-dollar player. same price as last year. 8 giga is 149 and you can double that capacity to 16 for $179. but this is actually much improved over last year's model. last year's model didn't have any controls on it at all and this year they brought back a nice scroll pad. >> juliet: i would lose that in 30 seconds. >> they both have clips, so you can take it -- >> rick: put it on your tie. >> that's right. >> juliet: thank you very much, mike. good to see you. >> rick: mike of "consumer reports." >> juliet: make sure you check out "consumer reports." they always give great information. that's why we have them on. >> rick: all right. during an election season, of course, we are bombarded with numbers. polls and statistics can sometimes tell the wrong story. case in point, perhaps the most
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famous example of interpreting the numbers wrong came, well -- >> juliet: you remember that? >> rick: yes, i remember the day harry truman stood up. anyway, we'll talk about numbers and what they mean when we come right back.
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>> i've got a theory about that. if you go back in history and take every president, you'll find that the numerical value of each letter in their last name was equally divisible into the year in which they were elected. [ laughter ] >> who is going to win? reagan again? >> no. not a chance. i figured it out. by my calculations, our next president has to be named yelnick, igwawa. >> rick: i miss cliff claven. during election season we are bombarded with polls and stats and we think of numbers as cold hard facts and we reporters put them out there as such and they can be manipulated when put into a certain context. how can we know for sure that what we're really looking at is true? joining us is a democratic pollster and a fox news contributor. charles is here as well, the author of a brand-new book called "proofiness, the dark
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arts of mathematical deception." we're glad you're both here. charles, if your book were turned into a tv show for fox, it could be called "when numbers attack." what is it about numbers? why do we love them so much? why do we tend to believe things more when there is a number attached to it? >> numbers have the aura of truth. we think like mathematicians that these things are pure and unsullied by human touching. but in fact, real world numbers don't have that purity that we humans generate numbers and we generate them through measurements or through other means and those measurements are flawed. as a result, the numbers are flawed. >> rick: now, doug, you're someone who made a career out of crunching and then interpreting numbers. so you put a lot of faith in them. >> i do. >> rick: do you have any concerns about them? >> i do have concerns. i'd say at the outset, rick, statistical rigor is important and if you have statistical
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information of a high quality, it advances, not retards, the information gathering and analysis process. but that being said, there is a lot of bad information, bad polls out there and charles is right. >> rick: your book, the title of your book, charles, mentions sort of the dark arts of mathematical deception, give us some examples of when we've been purposely deceived, where people have taken numbers, facts and figures and twisted them in a way to try to trick us. >> absolutely. there is just a few weeks ago, and i'm going to do this on both sides of the political spectrum to be fair. glenn beck said that there were 500,000 people at his rally. best estimate is that there were about 90,000. something the democrats did a decade and a half earlier when louis farrakhan claimed there were a million people at a rally when there were 400,000. people create these numbers for propaganda purposes, that they
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lie with these numbers, hoping that people think that they're more powerful than they actually are. >> rick: yet, we put so much credence into these numbers and i mentioned at the top that we journalists, we throw them out there and use them to illustrate points to come up with things to talk about, you mentioned in your book, charles, slow news days, you can always look at a poll. but sometimes here in new york, we've had two polls this past week on the new york gubernatorial race back to back, one day we saw the democrat was up by only 6 points. the next day the democrat was up by 33 points. what are we to make of these polls that seem to be so all over the map? >> here is the problem, unless you know the composition of the sample, how many democrats, how many republicans, the likelihood of different constituencies to vote, and how the interviewing was done, you're not able to assess the quality of the information. the polls themselves may well have reflected the reality of each sampling frame, but unless you know more than what's
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presented in the release of those polls, you're as confused as i think you suggested people could well be. >> rick: okay. so charles, i'd love to think we could do better when it comes to polling and when it comes to our use of numbers. if you were to put a number on it, what do you think the chances are that we could sort of improve the way we do things and make things more easily understandable for people? >> i think the chances of being able to do it is 100%. the chances are probably very low, maybe 5%. >> rick: you're a journalism professor at nyu. you are sort of molding the minds of young people. why do you not -- why are you so skeptical that we can't do it? >> i'm afraid it takes time and money and these are things that are getting harder and harder to find. that explaining all the nuances of a poll, what's going possibly going wrong with it, why the wording might affect the outcome, that takes a lot of air time. that takes a lot of word space. it's getting harder to get that. >> rick: doug, we did this because 67% of our audience said we should.
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>> right. >> rick: i'm joking. can we do better? >> yeah. we all can do better. i think one of the things that fox and other networks strive to do is to have the degree of intellectual rigor and preciseness that charles suggests. i know when i do polls, i try to provide it and i know when i'm booked to come on fox, there is an effort to find out are the numbers real? what's behind the numbers? how are they put together? we all probably can do better, but we have to strive to do what charles suggested. >> rick: charles book is "proofiness" very interesting read. thank you very much for coming in and a shout out because doug came on to talk about his new book. "mad as hell, how the tea party movement is fundamentally remaking our two party system." two good books to get. check them out. gentlemen, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> juliet: it is one of the most famous movie props in history and one of the most famous superstars today now owns it. find out who and how much -- what is that?
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you read very well. >> rick: i knew it before it even came up. >> juliet: we'll see what it went for, coming back right after the break. hey. ♪ [ sniffs ] ohh! [ female announcer ] got tough odors? what is that smell? ... new glade tough odor solutions. not just any old air freshener, this glade has odor fighter technology that eliminates tough odor problems an releases fres glade fragrance. [ sighs ]
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what is it? >> that is what dreams are made of. >> a classic hollywood movie. 1941 it came out. going under the gavel